As we wave goodbye to those April showers and look forward to Summer, many locals will be searching for that perfect beach spot. True, there are many obvious choices for beach getaways-think Cape Cod, the Vineyardâ€¦and a few other beaches close enough to Boston.
Beaches such as Singing Beach, Manchester By the Sea (Listen to the sand. No, really. Do it!), Scusset Beach in Sandwich, Coffin’s Beach in Gloucester (We hear there is a pizza place that delivers to the beach. Reason for excitement), and yes, Revere Beach (Some call it a breath of fresh air, others used to less urban beach areas disagree) all get dropped into the list of â€˜beach recommendations in the Boston area’ when searching through sites such as Yelp.
Many of us have fond memories of beaches we’ve visited growing up, or beaches we’ve traveled to with friends. But why not mix it up? Whether you’re a New Englander at heart, or staying in the area for school, there are plenty of ocean spots to check out.
On the lookout for some locations that may be off the path, Blast went out in search sunny spots, interesting environments, and local treats. Here are just a few to spark your interest:
Block Island, R.I.
A hop, skip, and jump off of Rhode Island sits Block Island, a tranquil and free spirited area nestled in the Atlantic. A ride on a ferry brings you to this beautiful and quaint island, full of free beaches, bed and breakfasts, lighthouses, and areas to for biking. Formed by glaciers 10,000 years ago, the island features beaches of warm and clear water, wildlife preserves and more. The Nature Conservancy has said to have named this gem “One of the 12 last great places in the Western Hemisphere.” For a place to eat, check out Mohegan Cafe Waterâ€Ž. Word on the street is good food, good brews, and even vegetarian options!
Fore more information on Block Island check out http://www.blockislandinfo.com/.
Odiorne Point State Park, Rye, N.H.
The Seacoast Science Center (www.seacoastsciencecenter.org) boasts Odiorne Point as one of the most beautiful natural settings along New Hampshire’s 18-mile coastline. It is listed as the largest undeveloped stretch of land along the coast by the New Hampshire State Parks and contains several different types of habitats, old military bunkers, and bike paths. The Seacoast Science Center also holds exhibits, and cross country skiing is even listed by the park for the winter. If you’re a bird watcher get ready! Odiorne point is seen as a bird watching hot spot for the many types of species seen there, but don’t get too preoccupied with those binoculars thereâ€¦the seagulls have been known to steel lunch from under your nose.
About an hour’s drive North of Boston, Rockport offers access to the ocean and events throughout the season. Rockport’s beaches range from quiet to bustling, but beware of limited parking.
If you are in the mood for some music, don’t forget the Rockport Chamber Music Festival for some Wagner, Haydn, or Beethoven. Or if you are into some of the later stuff, the music of John Cage and Charles Ives will be featured June 18. And don’t forget the Rockport Acoustic Music Festival in August!
For some java in a cozy atmosphere, try local coffee shop the Bean and Leaf Caf©, which includes an ocean view and various espresso drinks. Or stop in to Helmut’s Strudel Shop! Both are located in Bearksin Neck of Rockport Harbor. And, because you know you will want some after spending the day at the beach, local ice cream stand (properly named The Ice Cream Store) is also located in this area, and has many happy Yelpers praising the sweet treats available there.
For more information on specific beaches, events, and more, go to Rockport’s website, http://www.rockportusa.com/.
Crane’s beach in Ipswich
Coastal dunes, sun, and the North Shore’s largest pitch pine forest. In addition, this beach is a popular site for a threatened bird-the piping plover-which had been hunted to near extinction in the 19th century. Nature lovers are sure to love Crane’s Beach!
Richard T. Crane purchased the land in 1910 that eventually became the foundation for the Crane Estate. Over generations the family has bought more land for conservation of Crane Beach and Castle Neck.
For sites to see one may visit the Great House on Castle. Miles of trails along the dunes are popular among visitors for walking. Many reviewers claim this beach to have extremely soft sand and warm water as well, and great for families. Picnics are recommended!
Castle Island is great for swimming, fishing and having a picnic. The South Boston beach has attracted visitors for years for these reasons. Connected to the mainland since the 1930s, Castle Island is the former site of a fort built in 1643, making it the oldest fortified military site in British North America.
On top of its historical significance, many enjoy the beach each year for the waves and to relax with loved ones.
Amanda Zayas of Canton, had only good things to say about the sunny spot, and got engaged there over the summer.
"I would have to say that Castle Island is the perfect family destination for summer time in Boston. I have been there many times (even for a family reunion!) and seen children on the swings, teenagers in the water, and families grilling up burgers and hot dogs during the warm afternoons,” Zayas said. “Castle Island is truly an amazing place" she said, adding, "Try and get there early, though, because parking does get a little crazy later on in the afternoon!"
If you’re still unsure of where to park your folding chair for a sit on the sand, more Massachusetts beaches can be found on http://www.visit-massachusetts.com/. If you’re feeling adventurous, visit http://www.visitnewengland.com/ for beaches in the surrounding areaâ€”Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and more!